Contra Costa NOW’s 2024 Scholarship Winners

Haley Solis is an undergraduate student at Stanford University, where she is pursuing a degree in Environmental Systems Engineering.  She attended Hercules High School where she founded their Environmental Club.  One of her accomplishments while she was in high school was to implement a composting program.  This was no easy feat as it required her to coordinate with the school district’s unionized custodial staff.  She also set up composting programs for several small businesses in her community. 




One of our previous winners in 2021 Thyra Cobbs earned her Baccalaureate Degree in African American Studies at UCLA.  At UCLA she currently is a McNair Scholar and also serves as Chairperson of the African Student Union.  Thyra has been accepted to continue her studies at UCLA in their African American M. A. Program.  Thyra is from the Brentwood area of Contra Costa County.




Each winner received a $1,000 scholarship.

NOW Hear This

NOW Hear This: July 5, 2024 Newsletter

Message from National NOW President Christian F. Nunes


Greetings Feminists,


This week’s holiday is a good moment to reflect on the issue of freedom and liberty for women.  We’re still a long way from full equality, starting with constitutional equality.

The word “woman” does not appear in the U.S. Constitution, and to the privileged white men who wrote it, many of them slaveholding, that was just the way they wanted it.

These men didn’t want women to own property, vote or have bodily autonomy. They saw women’s rights and status as secondary to men’s, and they wanted to keep it that way.

Generations of women have endured a system that generally pays them less, values them less, respects them less and treats them as second-class citizens. The principles of democracy, equality and justice we revere are made hollow by the systemic, sex-based inequality and structural gender discrimination baked into our laws.

NOW’s core issues include Constitutional Equality, Ending Violence Against Women, and Racial Justice, among others.  As this article from Ms. Magazine reports,  “The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) will provide an explicit guarantee of sex equality in the Constitution and empower Congress to enforce it and address gender-based violence.”
And the ERA Coalition explains how the ERA will empower survivors of domestic violence:

“The Equal Rights Amendment holds the potential to be a powerful catalyst for cultural and political change in the fight against domestic violence. By establishing sex equality as a fundamental constitutional right, the ERA will help challenge harmful gender stereotypes, ensure equal access to resources and legal protection for all survivors, and ultimately eradicate domestic violence.”


“The Equal Rights Amendment holds the potential to be a powerful catalyst for cultural and political change in the fight against domestic violence. By establishing sex equality as a fundamental constitutional right, the ERA will help challenge harmful gender stereotypes, ensure equal access to resources and legal protection for all survivors, and ultimately eradicate domestic violence.”

The ERA Coalition also reports on how the ERA is at the intersection of gender and race and why it’s such an important step towards racial justice, quoting the Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray:

“Black women, historically, have been doubly victimized by the twin immoralities of Jim Crow and Jane Crow.”

While we celebrate this week’s holiday and think about the meaning of liberty, we can’t forget how much more needs to be done before we can fulfill the promise of “liberty and justice for all.”

In Solidarity
Christian F. Nunes




NOW On The Record

NOW Celebrates Juneteenth

June 19, 2024

Juneteenth, the day that marks of the end of slavery in the United States after the Civil War has been celebrated by African Americans since the late 1800s, but it wasn’t until 2021 that it became a federal holiday.


President Biden signed legislation to make June 19th a federal holiday that year, following the renewed demand for attention to be paid following the death of George Floyd the previous summer.  Standing beside him was 93-year old Opal Lee, “the Grandmother of Juneteenth,” who as this NPR story explains, had waged a decades-long fight to make Juneteenth a U.S. holiday.


After decades of working on Juneteenth celebrations in her home state of Texas, with the Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society, at the age of 89 she decided to “spread the word about Juneteenth to everybody.” She set out on a walking campaign from her home in Forth Worth to Washington, D.C.


“I was thinking that surely, somebody would see a little old lady in tennis shoes trying to get to Congress and take notice,” she said. What became annual walks culminated in a trip to the Capitol to deliver a petition signed by 1.5 million Americans supporting a federal holiday.


You can learn more about Opal Lee, and about today’s Opal’s Walk 2024 here.  And you can meet Opal Lee in this  video from just this past Friday showing her recent Forth Worth homecoming.


Of course, having a federal holiday to commemorate the date that enslaved Africans and African Americans in Texas learned of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation doesn’t mean that white supremacy has been put to rest. Black Americans are continuously mistreated and harmed by systemic racism, discrimination and denial of opportunity at every level. 


Vice President Harris has declared this Juneteenth as one of three National Days of Action on Voting. With a focus on voter engagement, these National Days of Action on Voting aim to ensure all Americans have the information they need to vote, promote voter participation for students, protect election workers, and fight voter suppression laws. Other National Days of Action on Voting are the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 2024 and National Voter Registration Day on September 17, 2024.


Juneteenth has always been a family celebration with an eye on history.  This November, we can change the course of history and keep the spirit of Juneteenth alive by electing more Black women!  And more leaders who will fight for equality.


In solidarity,
Christian F. Nunes

If We Win


Thanks to indivisible… this chart gives us a reason to get up each morning and keep fighting for our rights, our dignity, our autonomy and our democracy.



If Trump wins If we win
Reinstate the Muslim ban Overturn Citizens United
Deploy the military against protesters who hurt his fragile ego Restore the Voting Rights Act to put more power back in the hands of the people
Sign a national abortion ban Codify abortion rights to restore and expand access in all 50 states
Mass roundups and deportations of immigrants without due process Finally pass the Dream Act
Take the Justice Department under his control to prosecute critics and rivals Pass binding ethics rules and reform the judiciary to end Supreme Court corruption
Use the power of the federal government to attack critical media outlets and undermine press freedom Ban assault weapons & pass commonsense gun reforms
Attack Mexico Not attack Mexico
Repeal the Affordable Care Act, kicking tens of millions off their insurance Continue lowering drug prices and healthcare costs
Expand tax cuts for the rich Close tax loopholes to ensure ultrarich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes
Impose tariffs that’ll increase costs for working Americans Continue investments in green manufacturing in the USA
Ban life-saving gender affirming care for young people Pass the Equality Act to protect trans rights in all 50 states
Reverse green energy progress in favor of coal and oil  Expand investments in green infrastructure to give every American access to clean air and drinkable water
Close the Department of Education and force a far-right curriculum on schools Fight book bans and restore kids’ freedom to learn
Be a dictator Renew the Child Tax Credit & subsidize childcare for every American

What’s At Stake in 2024?

What Could We Lose in 2024?

What Can You Do?


NOW On The Record

Over-the-Counter Contraception is a Necessity 

May 11, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – – In a historic move, an FDA advisory committee of outside experts unanimously voted to approve nonprescriptive contraception for over-the-counter (OTC) use. Sixty-three years since the FDA first approved hormonal birth control medication, this no-prescription birth control pill can vastly expand reproductive justice for all women. 

Nonprescription, over-the-counter contraceptives are safe and have been available in more than 100 countries for years. Once formally approved by the FDA, this decision will provide a critical lifeline to marginalized women living in rural areas, on reservations, and in poverty-impacted communities. With increasing attacks on our reproductive freedoms, this news could not have come at a more critical moment. More than ever, women need better access to resources that empower them to take control of their reproductive decisions moving forward.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the nation’s leading membership-based advocacy group dedicated to defending women’s rights, advancing equality and combating injustice in all aspects of social, political and economic life. Through educating, mobilizing, and convening a vast network of grassroots activists across the country, NOW advocates for national, state and local policies that promote an anti-racist and intersectional feminist agenda. Since its founding in 1966, NOW has been on the frontlines of nearly every major advancement for women’s rights and continues to champion progressive values today. More about NOW’s efforts and resources is available at

In solidarity,
Christian F. Nunes

Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Texas Judge – NOW led the Effort to Bring Medication Abortion to the U.S. – Help Us Fight This


In less than two weeks, there could well be no access to one of the safest methods of abortion available, medication abortion, now used in a majority of abortions in the U.S.  – and widely used around the world. An anti-abortion organization, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, filed a lawsuit in November demanding that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdraw their approval of medication abortion. The judge has set a briefing deadline for February 24th.

See link below for full details.

Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Texas Judge – NOW led the Effort to Bring Medication Abortion to the U.S. – Help Us Fight This 

Photos for ROE #BansOffOurBodies March at the State Capitol




This Is What Democracy Looks Like

We are at a transformational shift to a new era of gender equality in the United States, with feminist women holding some of the most consequential levers of power. 

Kamala Harris, a Black woman of South Asian descent, is the first woman vice president; for the first time in U.S. history, President Joe Biden has appointed equal numbers of women (now at 48%) to the Cabinet; and the House of Representatives is led by a feminist woman, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and feminists chair some of the most powerful committees including Rep. Maxine Waters of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Rosa DeLauro of the Appropriations Committee and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of the Oversight and Reform Committee. 

There’s no denying that 2021 is going to be an exciting, impactful and critically important year in the long struggle for gender equality.

We Are Heartbroken

NOW Mourns the Loss of Feminist Icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg

WASHINGTON, D.C. – There aren’t sufficient words to describe the depth of sorrow women are feeling at the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We are shattered.  We are broken.  We feel that we have lost more than a dear and admired friend. Our country has lost a feminist champion 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not only a historic Supreme Court Justice, but also a political and cultural icon for the ages, and a feminist legend. She fought for and protected women’s rights every single day.  

NOW recognizes all that she contributed to women and girls, to America, to our world, in terms of equality and possibilitiesNOW’s work is an extension of amazing leaders, amazing women, amazing sheroes, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. That she did her work in the face of sexism throughout her life, and while battling cancer in the last chapters of her life, speaks to the power of showing up, of enduring, of advocating no matter what. 

Justice Ginsburg’s spirit, her soul, and her power, will be with us forever. 

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